Easy Old Fashioned Stuffed Peppers Cooked on Top of The Stove

This old-fashioned stuffed peppers cooked on top of the stove recipe has a modern twist. The filling is made with a savory blend of cooked rice, tomato sauce, and cooked ground beef. It is a comforting dish perfect for a crowd or a cozy family dinner.

This photograph shows a picture of a yellow bell pepper stuffed with sauce on top on a grey plate with a fork on the side

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Why you will love these stove-top stuffed peppers

  • Quick—Compared to the “old-fashioned” way of preparing stuffed peppers, the meat and rice are already cooked, so the peppers take less time to cook.
  • Flavor and texture – The peppers are slightly crisp and tender and each bite is packed with rich and aromatic flavors that everyone will love.
  • Easy – This recipe comes together quickly with simple ingredients.

Whenever I think about old-fashioned stuffed peppers, nostalgia washes over me. Growing up in a large family, meals like this, easy to prepare for a crowd, were often on our table.

Unlike my family’s classic recipe, which involves raw meat and uncooked rice stuffed into peppers and then cooked for hours, this recipe has been updated. Since the meat and rice are already cooked, they don’t simmer on the stove for hours. Instead the stuffed peppers simmer for less time on the stovetop and turn out slightly crisp tender so dinner can be ready in just under an hour. If you want an even faster-stuffed pepper recipe, try my deconstructed stuffed pepper recipe!

A Picture of the ingredients needed for old fashioned stuffed peppers: ground beef, bell peppers, cooked rice, tomato sauce, garlic, oregano onion

This is a brief summary of the ingredients needed to make this easy stuffed peppers recipe and a convenient shopping list from my Instacart affiliate link. For a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card section.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients

  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Cooked Rice (white rice or brown rice will work)
  • Bell Peppers (any color or a combination)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Onion
  • Dried Oregano or Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic (or garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon per clove)
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

How to make this old-fashioned stove top stuffed bell peppers recipe

Prepare: Cook the rice and set it aside. Rinse the peppers under cold water and set them aside.

This photograph shows a picture of a red bell pepper on a cutting board with the top cut off and a kinfe on the side

STEP 1: Use a sharp knife to trim off the tops of the peppers. Remove the stems and dice the pepper tops to add to the stuffed pepper filling.

This photograph shows a red bell pepper with a small portion of the bottom trimmed off

STEP 2: Trim off the bottom of the peppers which will help to keep them from falling over in the pan.

this photograph shows the peppers that are hollowed out and diced pepper tops on the side

STEP 3: Hollow out the bell peppers by laying the pepper on its side on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife and run it around the inside of the flesh to remove the core.

this photograph shows a picture of cooked ground beef in a skillet with onions and diced peppers

STEP 4: Heat olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, reduce to medium heat and add the ground beef. Once it turns pink, add the onions and diced peppers from the tops of the peppers. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to turn soft.

This photo shows the cooked filling in a skillet

STEP 5: Add the cooked rice, and 1/2 cup of tomatoes, stir and simmer for a few minutes longer. Transfer the ground beef mixture to a bowl.

a photograph of tomato sauce in pan ready for the peppers to be added


STEP 6: Wipe out the skillet and add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and heat it over medium heat, once the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook for few minutes. Add the tomato sauce Worcestershire if you are using it and oregano; reduce the heat to low heat.

This photo  shows the stuffed peppers covered in tomato sauce in a pan

STEP 7: Use a spoon to fill the bell peppers with the ground beef and rice mixture. Place each pepper into the skillet with the tomato sauce and spoon a little bit of the sauce over the top of each pepper. Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

a photograph of  a yellow bell pepper stuffed on its side on a blue plate

Substitutions and variations

Add your own twist to this recipe, here are a few suggestions to elevate your stuffed peppers.

Peppers – You can use any variety or color of peppers in this recipe. Even though traditional stuffed peppers are typically made with green peppers, I like to use a combination of colors for a pretty presentation and flavor. The red bell peppers, orange bell and yellow peppers have a sweeter flavor than green bell peppers. You can also try stuffing poblano peppers for a spicy flavor.

Beef – Stuffed peppers can be made with any type of ground meat. If you prefer a different type of meat, these peppers also taste great with lean ground chicken, ground turkey, ground pork or Italian sausage.

Vegetarian – You can easily make stuffed peppers vegetarian or vegan by replacing the ground beef with cooked lentils, quinoa or crumbled tofu.

Cheese – Add a cheesy twist to your stuffed peppers and add your favorite cheese, such as mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese. You can mix the cheese right into the filling or sprinkle it over the top of the stuffed peppers for a melty cheese topping.

Spicy – Add a dash of red pepper flakes or chopped jalapeno pepper to the filling for stuffed peppers with a kick.

Mushrooms – Use a half a pound of meat, and add 8 ounces of chopped mushrooms to the skillet with the ground beef.

Low carb – Replace the cooked rice with cauliflower rice for a low carb version of stuffed peppers.

To make the most of these tasty stuffed peppers, place them in an airtight container once they reach room temperature and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can freeze leftover stuffed peppers by placing room-temperature peppers in an airtight container and into the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat from frozen on top of the stove or in the oven. Note that the texture will be different after the stuffed peppers have been frozen.

Serving Suggestions

Once your old-fashioned stuffed peppers are ready to enjoy, serve them with a hearty green salad like a kale caesar salad, arugula salad, or a side of green beans or roasted Brussels sprouts and a loaf of crusty bread.

Tips

  • Select bell peppers that are large enough to stuff and are sturdy and stand on their own.
  • The peppers will be slightly crisp after 30 minutes of cooking time. If you prefer your peppers less crisp, extend the cooking time by 15 to 20 minutes.
What should I do if my stuffing seems dry?

If the stuffing seems dry before stuffing the stuffed peppers, add some tomato sauce or diced tomato to the stuffing.

Do I have to cover the peppers while cooking?

It’s important to cover the pan while cooking as it traps in the steam and helps to cook the peppers without drying them out.

Do you like this recipe or have a question?

Please leave a comment or question and a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating below. I answer all questions!

This photograph shows a picture of a yellow bell pepper stuffed with sauce on top on a grey plate with a fork on the side

Old Fashioned Stove-Top Stuffed Peppers

Old fashioned stuffed peppers cooked on top of the stove are the perfect comfort food.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American Comfort
Keyword: Old fashioned stuffed pepeprs cooked on top of the stove
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 468kcal
Author: Anne
Scale this Recipe 4 People

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup rice cooked
  • 4 bell peppers large
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Use a sharp knife to trim the tops off 4 bell peppers . Remove the stems and dice the pepper tops to add to the stuffed pepper filling. And trim the bottom off of the peppers which will stabilize them in the pan.
  • Hollow out the bell peppers by laying the pepper on its side on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife and run it around the inside of the flesh to remove the core.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, reduce to medium heat and add 3/4 pound ground beef and cook until it's almost cooked through. Add 1/2 cup diced onion and diced peppers from the tops of the peppers. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to turn soft.
  • Add the 1 cup rice cooked rice, and 1/2 cup of tomatoes, stir and simmer for a few minutes longer. Transfer the ground beef mixture to a bowl.
  • Wipe out the skillet and add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and heat it over medium heat, once the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook for few minutes. Add the tomato sauce and oregano; reduce the heat to low heat.
  • Use a spoon to fill the bell peppers with the ground beef and rice mixture. Place each meat stuffed pepper into the skillet with the tomato sauce and spoon a little bit of the sauce over the top of each pepper. Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

Notes

Add a teaspoon of Worcestershire or salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pepper | Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 810mg | Potassium: 1036mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 4391IU | Vitamin C: 165mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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